SolarWorld subsidiary Deutsche Solar GmbH is the world’s first company in the solar industry to pass an audit for the CETPM Award in silver by the Centre of Excellence for Total Productive Management (CETPM). This institution of the Ansbach University of Applied Sciences sees companies through operational improvement processes and audits their success in terms of the degree of operational excellence.
The Freiberg solar wafer manufacturer was only just recently audited for the Award for Operational Excellence in bronze, in fall 2010. Companies usually need three years of further intense development to reach the next level, but Deutsche Solar managed in just two and a half years.
“Deutsche Solar easily met all of the criteria for the silver award. The company manufactures at the highest level. Many manufacturers can learn a lesson from Deutsche Solar. Driven by the high commitment of the management and executives and implemented by employees’ technical expertise, motivation and involvement, Deutsche Solar is nearly at a world-class level in the continual improvement of processes,” say Peter Schimek, Head of Awarding and Manfred Steiner, Deputy Head of Awarding at CETPM.
The SolarWorld subsidiary was able to meet all of its targets, defined in advance with CETPM, in the categories of productivity, quality, manufacturing costs, logistics, safety, environmental protection, and motivation. “The successful audit of our production facility in Germany proves that we continue to be the front-runner worldwide in the technological competition. We can absolutely hold our own in a fair comparison with others,” says SolarWorld Chairman and CEO Dr.-Ing. E. h. Frank Asbeck.
TPM is the world’s most popular improvement system for continuous optimizing production processes and increasing system efficiency. It’s basically a hunt for losses and inefficiency in production, aiming at zero quality losses, zero defaults, zero defects and zero accidents. The TPM principle has been in place at SolarWorld’s Freiberg location since 2007. Today, over 30 employee teams in the various production areas and service departments work on improvement projects. They create competitive advantages such as cost-effectiveness, energy consumption savings, and lean production structures.